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Newport Jazz 2011: Miguel Zenón's Puerto Rican Songbook, Live In Concert

Publication: NPR.org
Author: Patrick Jarenwattananon
Date: August 8, 2011


Lately, the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón has been listening to some of his parents’ favorite music. That is, he’s adapted a handful of classic popular songs from his native Puerto Rico for his jazz quartet. And on his forthcoming album Alma Adentro, he even contracted his friend Guillermo Klein to write backing arrangements for a 10-piece woodwind section. Lush and verdant — like the tropical isle which inspired them — the charts see a rare public performance at Newport’s central Quad Stage.

Visit NPR.org to stream Miguel’s set!

Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 12:15pm

Jazz to classical – Branford Marsalis appears with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Publication: The Times Union
Author: Joseph Dalton
Date: August 7, 2011

“Close enough for jazz” is a fun, shorthand way of saying that something’s “good enough.”  Just don’t use the phrase in the presence of a serious jazz musician.

The expression certainly didn’t come up in conversation with saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who will be performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Wednesday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  But Marsalis did speak with surprising candor about the discipline and rigor involved in classical music. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 11:46am

CD: Marsalis and Calderazzo

Publication: Rifftides
Author: Doug Ramsey
Date: August 1, 2011

A dozen years of togetherness in Marsalis’s quartet have bred familiarity that allows the saxophonist and the pianist to flow through one another’s thoughts. In these duets, their interactions and reactions are as profound on the mirthful pieces as on the melancholy. Marsalis wrote three of the songs, Calderazzo four, Wayne Shorter and Johannes Brahms one apiece. The Brahms “Die Trauernde” is an art song, but then so are all the others. Influences as diverse as Mahler and Ron Carter may be apparent, but categories don’t apply here. Well, one category does; this is fine chamber music. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 11:18am

Jazz and Blues: Branford Marsalis + Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: TONE Audio
Writer: Jim Macnie
Date: May 2011

Seems like piano/sax duets offer lots of elbowroom. In the large, each participant has leeway when it comes to bending a melody or messing with a tempo. Indeed, it was an extended pas de deux from Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons that helped cement my love of jazz decades ago, and from the Steve Lacy/Mal Waldron exchanges to the Archie Shepp/Horace Parlan outings, I’ve been a fan of the keys and reeds setting ever since. Two new titles present their participants in a similar environment. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 11:17am

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins The Mountaintop

Publication:    Charged.fm
Author: Demetria Mosley
Date: July 14, 2011

The new Broadway play The Mountaintop, starring Samuel L Jackson and Angela Basset, is set to open October 13th.  The anticipation for the show is quickly building due to Broadway.com’s announcement that composer and saxophonist Branford Marsalis is contributing original music to the production.

Branford Marsalis is a Grammy winning musician and has even been nominated for a Tony for the work he did in the play Fences. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on July 27th, 2011 — 08:25am

Branford Marsalis/Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: Offbeat
Author: David Kunian
Date: August 1, 2011

For the past decade, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has been one of the best working jazz bands on the planet. The tightness of that unit is reflected in this duo recording from saxophonist Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo. Songs of Mirth and Melancholy starts with a jaunty blues from Calderazzo’s pen, “One Way,” that has a relaxed, fun feel to it. However, much of the remainder of the record is more contemplative; there are a lot of slow-tempo numbers that allow the listener to appreciate the beauty of the melodies and tones of the instruments. In that way, the album almost seems like an extension of the Quartet’s 2004 record of ballads, Eternal. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on July 27th, 2011 — 08:44am

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo Swing Hard, On and Off the Course

Publication: Huffington Post
Author: Kristi York Wooten
Date: July 12, 2011

This is not a blog about golf — although the two jazz musicians/golf players here in question will tell you their attempts to master the sport require almost as much time and energy as prepping for shows at the world’s top music venues.

Yet, when it comes to saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo, golf factors into the story only because they first started dueting publicly at charity tournaments, which eventually led to a much-lauded duo gig at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival — and now, at long last, a full-length CD: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy. Read more »

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: East Bay Express
Author: Rachel Swan
Date: June 29, 2011

Apparently, the Marsalis-Calderazzo collaboration came about by happenstance — sort of. Calderazzo was already the pianist for Marsalis’ working quartet, and the two decided to perform as a duo at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival. Sax and piano make an unorthodox combination for sure, but in this case the results were stunning. Marsalisnevermind his pedigree — is such a natural that he can swing without the “trappings” of a traditional rhythm section (to borrow a phrase from San Francisco vocalist Lorin Benedict, who eschews trappings of any sort). Moreover, he’s not strictly a jazz musician. Many of the songs on this mostly original album (save for covers of Brahms’ “Die Trauernde” and Wayne Shorter’s “Face on the Barroom Floor”) sound like baroque or classical music. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 29th, 2011 — 10:23am

“Now in Stores” XIII: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: Groove Notes
Author: Kevin Kniestedt
Date: June 24, 2011

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy by Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo (Marsalis Music, June 7, 2011)
In ‘Songs of Mirth and Melancholy’ Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition.

It may have taken just three days to record, but this new duo recording from sax player Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo has 13 years of music-making behind it, dating back to when Calderazzo replaced the late, great Kenny Kirkland in the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1998. We’ve come to expect a superabundance of imagination from both these players, but in Songs of Mirth and Melancholy Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition.

Submitted by Courtney on June 29th, 2011 — 10:43am

New Releases: Branford Marsalis / Joey Calderazzo

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer
Author: Karl Stark
Date: June 26, 2011

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy
(Marsalis Music ***1/2)

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has done duet recordings with just his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, and fellow New Orleans native, crooner Harry Connick Jr. Here the tenor and soprano saxophonist takes up with Joey Calderazzo, the pianist of his quartet since 1998, for a session that is surprisingly sublime.

Marsalis and Calderazzo sound classical in the best jazz sense: handsome melodies creating beauty and lots of free space for interaction. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 27th, 2011 — 02:53pm